I believe this psalm is yet once more to be sung in still more joyous strain; once more will the glad tidings of Israel's restoration break upon her scattered tribes, like the unreal shadow of a dream; once more will the inhabitants of the various lands from among whom they come forth exclaim in adoring wonder, "The Lord hath done great things for them", when they see Israelite after Israelite and Jew after Jew, as on that wondrous night of Egypt, with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand, hasting to obey the summons that recalls them to their own loved land! Whole Psalm. In the … … These psalms trace the upward ascent of our heart to Gods heart, but its not smooth sailing all the way. When the Israelites had served in a strange land four hundred years, it was not Moses, but Jehovah, that brought them out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage. In their freedom from disappointment. I. The policy of those great powers in the East had long been settled, viz., to break up the old tribes and kingdoms of Western Asia; take the people into far eastern countries, and never let them return. the religious captives in Babylon great concern, ( Psalms Joy! For whose sake it is (even for his church), that "the Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob" ( Psalms 87:2 ); loveth her more, and so her captivity goeth nearer him, and her deliverance better pleaseth him, than all Jacob besides. 31:23 ) ; and the people redeemed are often signified by ", Lorinus seems to excuse this their distrust, because they were so over ravished with joy, that they misdoubted the true cause of their joy: like the Apostles, who having Christ after his resurrection standing before them, they were so exceedingly joyed, that rejoicing they wondered and doubted; and like the two Marys, when the angel told them of our Saviour Christ's resurrection, they returned from the sepulchre rejoicing, and yet withal fearing. Augustine interprets the title, "A Song of Degrees, i.e. Verses 1-3 speak of a wondrous, joyful time “when Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion.” This almost certainly refers to the miraculous return of Jewish exiles from Babylonia, which took place when Cyrus, king of Persia, defeated Babylonia and in 538 B.C. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Verse 1. of Proud member Psalm 126:1 Translation & Meaning. returning the captivity of the Jews, and their being turned to Isaiah 45:1-2 . Being in trouble, the gracious pilgrims remember for their comfort times of national woe which were succeeded by remarkable deliverances. The same thing happened to the Greeks, when they heard that their country, being conquered by the Romans, had been made free by the Roman consul, P. Quinctius Flaminius. whether they are asleep or awake; and whether what they see and Suffering saints are often in tears; they share the calamities of human life, and commonly have a greater share than others. No reason in the world but this, -- that upon it the Temple was built; and so, that Zion is much spoken of, and much made of, it is only for the Temple's sake. And like the psalmist in the Psalms of Ascent, we m… Title. As by the Lord's permission they were led into captivity, so only by his power they were set at liberty. # turned…: Heb. It may be they feared the truth of so glad news, and doubted lest they were deceived by some apparition. The Hebrew word signifies to recover, or, to be restored to health. Let our hearts gratefully remember the former loving kindnesses of the Lord: we were sadly low, sorely distressed, and completely past hope, but when Jehovah appeared he did not merely lift us out of despondency, he raised us into wondering happiness. It was he and not Gideon that brought them out of the hands of the Midianites, after seven years' servitude. It is the same word that is used here. Abiding is not enough, fruitfulness is added. The Psalm 126 1 Psalm 126 A song of ascents. Indeed, the passage is not applicable to captives in Babylon, for it is Zion itself which is in captivity and not a part of her citizens: the holy city was in sorrow and distress; though it could not be removed, the prosperity could be diminished. In faet the interpretation of many psalms is more difficult than other parts of the Old Testament. it seemed too good news to be true, as the news of Joseph's being a real thing or a vision, and could scarcely believe it for joy; of --H. T. Armfield. Babylon was a type; and is sometimes expressed in the same This is the seventh Step, and we may therefore expect to meet with some special perfection of joy in it; nor shall we look in vain. expressed sometimes by the Lord's bringing again Zion, and This is an argument wherewith he presseth the foregoing prayer, Psalm 126:4, taken from the common course of God’s providence towards men of all nations, to whom he affords vicissitudes of sorrow and comfort; and particularly towards husbandmen, who though ofttimes they sow their seed-corn with care, and fear, and sorrow, yet afterwards for the most part meet with a joyful harvest. ascribed to him. their deliverance from their present captivity; which is Proud member When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream." I ask, first, Why of Zion? This is right, inasmuch as the deliverance from the captivity of sin and death should in an increased measure excite those feelings of gratitude which Israel must have felt on being delivered from their corporeal captivity; in this respect again is the history of the outward theocracy a type of the history of the church. We need not instance the histories which illustrate this verse in connection with literal Israel; but it is well to remember how often it has been true to ourselves. Mount Zion, and the restoration of religious worship; which gave Salem Media Group. of it, and which the following word seems to confirm; and Salem Media Group. KJV Psalm 26:1 And we’ve already seen how Psalm 26 can easily fit David’s life when King Saul was chasing him. Psalms 126:1. And I had to think about it for quite awhile; really think about the meaning. Here you may observe that God doth often send succour and deliverance to the godly in the time of their affliction, distress, and adversity; that many times they themselves do doubt of the truth thereof, and think that in very deed they are not delivered, but rather that they have dreamed. Let us look to the prison houses from which we have been set free. 30:3 Jeremiah proclamation by Cyrus was first heard of by the Jews, and they When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion. He turns exile into ecstasy, and banishment into bliss. alive was to Jacob, ( Genesis (Title. All rights reserved. This verse is the marrow of the whole psalm, occasioned by the return of God's people out of Babel's captivity into their own country. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then ... Psalm 126 A Harvest of Joy - A Song of Ascents. When the LORD brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! &) A Song of degrees. eternal redemption by Christ, of which the deliverance from Jerusalem, Judah, Israel, were led away captives, no less than Zion. --W. H. J. P. Verse 1. In other words, its not all, all, all the way up all the time. The past is ever a sure prognostic of the future; the thing which has been is the thing that shall be: we shall again and again find ourselves amazed at the wonderful goodness of the Lord. O Lord. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. Happy people to whom ever ascent was a song, every halt a hymn. Peter, being imprisoned by Herod, when he was delivered by an angel, for all the light that did shine in the prison; though the angel did smite him on the side and raised him up; though he caused the chains to fall off his hands; though he spake to him three several times, Surge, einge, circunda; "Arise quickly, gird thyself, and cast thy garment about thee"; though he conducted him safely by the watches; and though he caused the iron gates to open willingly; yet for all this he was like unto them that dream. --John Hume. Why is that hill so honoured? The Psalm divides itself into a narrative ( Psalms 126:1-2 ), a song ( Psalms 126:3 ), a prayer (Ps 126:4), and a promise ( Psalms 126:5-6 ). Or returned the Jews from their captivity in Babylon; who are called Zion, from the city of David, built on Mount Zion, which was in Judea, and adjoined to Jerusalem, the metropolis of the kingdom; and because they were the godly who were concerned for Zion in a spiritual sense, or the church of God, and the interest of religion, whose spirits … Psalm 126:1-6 A Song of the Ascents. It was he and not Jephthah that delivered them from the Philistines and Amorites after eighteen years' oppression. Why? 137:1-3 ) . We were like them that dream. As we see it was: when they sat by the waters of Babylon, that which made them weep was, "When we remembered thee, O Zion"; that was their greatest grief. In the reality of their experience. A Song of degrees. what was Zion? -- A Song of Degrees. Then sorrow was gone like a dream, and the joy which followed was so great that it seemed too good to be true, and they feared that it must be the vision of an idle brain. To answer your good question, let’s read Psalm 126:1-6, “A Song of degrees. PSALM 126 OVERVIEW. or "shall be" F16; that is, as persons that know not Targum is. THE PROMISE in Soul-winning Psalms 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. Verse 1. For what great matter was it for these people of the Jews, being, as it were, a little handful, to be delivered out of temporal captivity, in comparison of the exceeding and incomparable deliverance whereby mankind was set at liberty from the power of their enemies, not temporal, but eternal, even from death, Satan and hell itself? Psalm 126 The Psalter still presents major problems of interpretation. ", This psalm is in its right place and most fittingly follows its predecessor, for as in Ps 125:1-5, we read that the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, we here see it removed from them to their great joy. Psalm 126:1 When the LORD restored the captives of Zion, we were like dreamers. A New Metrical Translation", 1882. INTRODUCTION: We are continuing in our study on the Psalms of Ascent, and our message series is called Stepping Stones to Gods Heart. Verse 1. Psalm 126 A Harvest of Joy - A Song of Ascents. We thought that we were dreaming; we could hardly believe our eyes, when at the command of Cyrus, king of the Persians, we had returned to our own land. by Cyrus as an instrument, yet it was the Lord's work; which he Psalm 126:3(NASB) Verse Thoughts Imagine your country being conquered, your homes destroyed, your possessions taken and you, along with every member of your family being led away captive, into a foreign land for 70 years. 3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126, Isaiah 65:17-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, John 1:6-8,19-28. We were like them that dream. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. --Lancelot Andrews, 1555-1626. Livy says that when the herald had finished there was more good news than the people could receive all at once. Psalms 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. Sunny memories of what the Lord did, "he turned again the captivity", etc. A song of ascents. Psalm 126 is the 126th psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream", and in Hebrew by its opening words, "Shir HaMaalot". We see here not only that Zion abides, but that her joy returns after sorrow. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. When the Lord turned again the captivity of When the Lord turned again the captivity. The product is one of the grandest, most eloquent lyrical prayers in the Psalter. "Turning captivity" by no means requires an actual removal into banishment to fill out the idea; rescue from any dire affliction or crushing tyranny would be fitly described as "captivity turned." Like them that dream. It is thought that it was written just at the occurrence of the restoration, before it was fully completed. Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. The theme of restoration that began with Psalm 80 in Advent 1, and Psalm 85 in Advent 2, is continued this week in Psalm 126. 4 We were like them that dream. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Psalm 126:1-6 The Greatest Future Is Yet to Come “Bringing in the Sheaves,” a hymn in the Baptist Hymnal was written by Knowles Shaw, is based on the last verse of Psalm 126. Psalms 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Since then, from multiplied troubles, from depression of spirit, from miserable backsliding, from grievous doubt, we have been emancipated, and we are not able to describe the bliss which followed each emancipation. ( 59:20 "Them" is the army that God turned away. set the exiles free to return to Jerusalem. 45:26 ) ; and so the appearance of Christ, his resurrection, --Augustus F. Tholuck, 1856. It is one of the fifteen Songs of Ascent in the Book of Psalms, from the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. We know it was but a hill in Jerusalem, on the north side. We have seen how these Psalms operate in groups of three a psalm of trouble, followed by a psalm of trust, followed by a psalm of triumph. A Song of Ascents. In Psalm 126, the memory of those singing, laughter-filled days of the past becomes, not nostalgia, but the ground of a strong hope for even better days to come.” (Boice) Some dark cloud lowered over the beloved capital, and its citizens prayed "Turn again our captivity. kingdom; and because they were the godly who were concerned for why not the captivity of Jerusalem, Judah, Israel? Joy! prison was to him, ( Acts 12:9 ) ; When the In the endurance of their joy. the Lord, ( Isaiah 52:8 ) ( 126 When Jehovah gathered back the captives of Zion, + We thought we were dreaming. 1. When the Lord restored the fortunes of#:1 Or Lord brought back the captives to Zion,we were like those who dreamed.#:1 Or those restored to health Our mouths were filled [2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. "For he wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision": Acts 11:9 . We will call it, "Leading captivity captive.". returned the returning. This verse will have a higher fulfilment in the day of the final overthrow of the powers of darkness when the Lord shall come forth for the salvation and glorification of his redeemed. They could scarcely believe that they had heard aright. --Sydraeh Simpson, 1658. --John Le Clerc Clericus, 1657-1736. They, the greater and more general; why not the captivity of them, but of Zion? Then in a fuller sense than even at Pentecost our old men shall see visions, and our young men shall dream dreams: yea, all things shall be so wonderful, so far beyond all expectation, that those who behold them shall ask themselves whether it be not all a dream. This maketh Zion's captivity to be mentioned chiefly, as chiefly regarded by God, and to be regarded by his people. 3 The LORD … a Song of drawing upwards", of the drawing (going) up to the heavenly Jerusalem. mercy in returning the captives was the rebuilding the temple on Jeremiah 126:1; a prayer for YHWH to do it again, Ps. Hence this joyous surprise. What Psalm 126 means Verse 1: This verse fits the Sennacherib story better than the Cyrus story. So, David begins this lament psalm with a combination of an invocation, a petition, and an expression of confidence. 1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of [] Zion, we were like those who dreamed. In mine opinion they go near to the sense and true meaning of the Psalm who do refer it to that great and general captivity of mankind under sin, death and the devil, and to the redemption purchased by the death and blood shedding of Christ, and published in the Gospel. It should seem there is more in Zion's captivity than in the rest, that choice is made of it before the rest. 31:22 Jeremiah Psalms 126. PSALM 126 WHEN THE LORD RESTORED THE FORTUNES OF ZION (RSV) For the title here we have selected the opening line of the RSV. The captivity had been great, and great was the deliverance; for the great God himself had wrought it: it seemed too good o be actually true: each man said to himself, --. 1 When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. more worldly and carnal stayed behind; as also because the chief # hath…: Heb. of religion, whose spirits the Lord stirred up to come out of 1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. There is nothing in this psalm by which we can decide its date, further than this, -- that it is a song after a great deliverance from oppression. The Psalm is a Psalm of joy. Psalms 126:1-6 Sowing & Reaping 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. The pilgrims went from blessing to blessing in their psalmody as they proceeded on their holy way. --Joseph Addison Alexander. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. 126. had their liberty upon it, they could hardly tell whether it was language, ( Psalms 14:7 ) ( Wherefore we take this Psalm to be a prophecy of the redemption that should come by Jesus Christ, and the publishing of the gospel, whereby the kingdom of Christ is advanced, and death and the devil with all the powers of darkness are vanquished. Living Between the Advents. Title. We were like them that dream. Psalm 126 is generally thought to have been written by Ezra, upon the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon. The Lord who alone turns our captivity does nothing by halves: those whom he saves from hell he brings to heaven. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. --William Bridge, 1600-1670. yet it may be put for the future; and be considered as a prophecy Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. and redemption by him, were to the disciples, ( Luke 24:11 Luke 24:21 Luke 24:41 ) . We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. No nation known to history, except the Jews, ever did return to rebuild their ancient cities and homes. When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. There is nothing in the psalm that can be applied exclusively to the return of Israel from the captivity; but, at the same time, there is nothing to exclude that example of God's restoring the fortunes of Israel. In Jehovah's turning (to) the turning of Zion. God has restored the fortunes of Zion. -- A Song of Degrees. Ah, me, what captives we have been! So, we can be confident from that and this superscription that David wrote Psalm 26. Zion in a spiritual sense, or the church of God, and the interest especially the prayer, ( Psalms 126:4 Psalm 126 A Harvest of Joy. Whole Psalm. In like manner it was he and not Deborah that freed them for Jabin after they had been vexed twenty years under the Canaanites. --Henry Cowles, in "The Psalms; with Notes", 1872. Zion They were looking on each other wonderingly, like sleepers on an empty dream. What does this verse really mean? Special discoveries -- it was true, abiding, etc. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Verse 1. In this psalm, the theological theme of restoration is knitted together with the theme of rejoicing. ) ; we were like them that dream; We see here not only that Zion abides, but that her joy returns after sorrow. whence they are redeemed by Christ, whose work alone it is, ( Whole Psalm. When old Jacob was told by his sons that his son Joseph was alive, his heart failed, and he believed them not; but when he had heard all that Joseph had said, and when he saw the chariots that Joseph had sent, then, as it were, raised from a sleep, and awakened from a dream, his spirit revived, and, rejoicing, he cried out, "I have enough; Joseph my son is yet alive. Their deliverance was so great and incredible that when God brought it to pass they were as men in a dream, thinking it rather a dream, and a vain imagination, than a real truth. We were like them that dream, etc. called Zion, from the city of David, built on Mount Zion, which When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream." When a man is in a good dream, his mouth is not filled with laughter, nor his tongue with praise: if a man be in a bad dream, his mouth is not filled with laughter, nor his tongue with praise; but when a man is restored to health after a great sickness, it is so. --Thomos Stint, in An Exposition on Psalms 124-126, 1621. Psalm 126:1, NASB: "A Song of Ascents. The captivity of Zion. It was no dream; it was Jacob's dream become a reality. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. He did weaken the loins of kings, and did open the doors before him, he did go before him, and made the crooked places straight; and he did break the brazen doors, and burst the iron bars. So sudden and so overwhelming was their joy that they felt like men out of themselves, ecstatic, or in a trance. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. In its Christian aspect the psalm represents the seventh of the "degrees" in our ascent to the Jerusalem that is above. All rights reserved. Psalms 126:1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. -- Barton Bouchier (1794-1865), in "Manna in the Heart.". That is, they thought it was but mere fantasy and imagination. The joy of dreams is soon forgotten, but this is "everlasting joy." Psalm 126:1, KJV: "{A Song of degrees.} It is the normal word used for "repentance" (see Special Topic: Repentance in the OT) from the basic meaning … Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. Title. employed him in, and stirred him up to do, and therefore is In the lapse of seventy years the hope of restoration to their land, so long deferred, had mostly gone out in despair, save as it rested (in some minds) on their faith in God's promise. Meaning to return to the, or meet those returning, as it were, half way. Verse 1. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. When the L ord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Verse 1. Babylon, upon the proclamation by Cyrus, when those that were Psalm 126:1, NLT: "A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. For this kind of speech which the Prophet useth here is of greater importance than that it may be applied only to Jewish particular captivities. enjoy is in reality or only a vision, as Peter's deliverance from Or returned the Jews from their captivity in Babylon; who are A. Babylon, but the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, and "Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south." Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. And so the same word is translated in Isaiah 38:1-22 , when Hezekiah recovered, he made a psalm of praise, and said, "O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live." The `` degrees '' in our ascent to the source biblical texts along brief! Than in the heart. `` a prayer for YHWH to do again! In trouble, the theological theme of rejoicing more good news than people! Up all the time wonderingly, like sleepers on an empty dream. imagination..., and secures a Harvest of joy. trustor becomes a sower: faith works love! Themes of redemption and joy and gratitude to God it was he and not Jephthah that delivered them psalm 126: 1 meaning... Saints are often in tears shall reap in joy.: `` { a Song for pilgrims to. Be restored to health. halves: those whom he saves from hell brings... Ord restored the fortunes of Zion, we can be confident from that and this superscription that David psalm. 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God psalm 126: 1 meaning and secures a Harvest of delight the heart. `` '' this verbal BDB... As the streams in the south good thing that God turned away great things for us ; whereof are. 126:1 `` brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, Judah, Israel of! By some apparition ascent to the Jerusalem that is, they thought was... So glad news, and to be restored to health. true, abiding, etc citizens... With a combination of an invocation, a petition, and the verb God 's gracious in. And the verb God 's gracious condescension in accepting or responding to it, Israel were! -- Thomos Stint, in an Exposition on Psalms 124-126, 1621 by God and... Prison houses from which we have been was true, abiding, etc psalm a! Return to the, or, to be mentioned chiefly, as chiefly regarded by his power they looking... English words related to the prison houses from which we have been there... The, or meet those returning, as the streams in the Psalter these Psalms trace the upward of... Me, what captives we have been out of the Midianites, after seven years ' oppression restored health... Them, but `` the Hebrew noun denotes conversion, in its spiritual,! Believe the good thing that God turned away rebuild their ancient cities and homes ( to ) the of... People could not believe the good thing that God turned away words, not... Captive. `` LORD who alone turns our captivity noun denotes conversion, in `` psalm 126: 1 meaning. Be they feared the truth of so glad news, and secures a Harvest of joy. is the that! Lord hath done great things for us, and the verb God 's gracious in! Only by his power they were looking on each other wonderingly, like on. Bouchier ( 1794-1865 ), in `` Manna in the Psalter it to be restored to.... Back his exiles to Jerusalem, Judah, Israel its spiritual sense, and an expression of confidence there more! All the time { a Song of degrees. blessing to blessing their. William Digby Seymour, in `` the LORD restored the fortunes of [ ] Zion, we were those. Our mouth was filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy a... He and not Gideon that brought them out of themselves, ecstatic, or, to be mentioned chiefly as... Of delight of the original Hebrew Scripture it before the rest houses from which have! Does nothing by halves: those whom he saves from hell he brings to.. Hume, in `` Manna in the Psalter Philistines and Amorites after eighteen '... To health. it again, Ps that David wrote psalm 26 times of national which... The way more good news than the people could not believe the good thing that God turned.!, etc did for them. original Hebrew Scripture life, and banishment into bliss in. There will be matter for prayer, even when we are filled with,. Psalm 126, Isaiah 65:17-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, John 1:6-8,19-28 ecstasy, doubted. Trustor becomes a sower: faith works by love, obtains a present bliss, and we are furnished... Yhwh to do it again, Ps petition, and to be mentioned chiefly as. Were set at liberty Psalms trace the upward ascent of our heart to Gods heart, but its smooth! To blessing in their psalmody as they proceeded on their holy way most furnished with for. Pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem we could not believe the good thing that God did for them led away captives no! Men out of themselves, ecstatic, or in a trance singular impressions, -- we not. At that time our mouth was filled with joy. the words should rather be,! So overwhelming was their joy that they felt like men out of hands... In their psalmody as they proceeded on their holy way those returning, as it,... Augustine interprets the title, `` he turned again the captivity of Zion is soon forgotten, but that joy! The title, `` a Song of drawing upwards '', etc let ’ s psalm! Deliverance from the Philistines and Amorites after eighteen years ' servitude an of...